George Adamski: Hoaxer or Something Else?

Greg Bishop has carefully studied the life and ufological claims of the infamous UFO Contactee George Adamski. Greg tells the story of what happened on a certain, controversy-filled day in 1952: “…Adamski left his Palomar mountain retreat at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday November 20, 1952 along with his lifetime secretary Lucy McGinnis and Alice Wells – the owner of the property where Adamski gave lectures on Universal Law and the café where he flipped burgers to pay the rent. At about 8:00 a.m. they met with Al Bailey and his wife Betty, and George Hunt Williamson [a fellow-Contactee] and his wife, Betty, in Blythe, [California] just west of the Arizona / California border.”

The group then suddenly turned back, on what was described as a “hunch.” They retraced their steps, taking a small highway eleven miles northeast towards the town of Parker, Arizona, where they stopped. After breakfast, the group scanned the skies for saucers. Passing motorists slowed down, wondering what was going on. When, around noon, an aircraft flew over the group, it provoked brief excitement. The main event was still to come, however. In fact, it was only moments away: a huge, silver-colored, cigar-shaped UFO suddenly loomed into view.

Greg continues: “Williamson asked: ‘Is that a space ship?’, as Betty Bailey tried to set up a movie camera, but couldn’t because ‘she was so excited.’ According to Adamski, they were anxious not to attract attention to the object, so they didn’t point at it and alert other passing cars to this event.”

“Someone take me down the road, quick! That ship has come looking for me and I don’t want to keep them waiting!” Adamski yelled, as he jumped into the car with McGinnis and Mr. Bailey. About a half-mile down the road, with the craft shadowing them, Adamski told McGinnis to turn off the road. He then instructed the two to “go back to the others as quickly as possible…and watch for anything that might take place” – from the safe viewing distance of half a mile or more away. After this first craft was chased away by interceptor jets, another “beautiful small craft” arrived and landed behind the crest of a mountain about half a mile away.

George Adamski

George Adamski

Adamski soon saw a figure waving to him and walked towards it. Adamski said of this experience: “I fully realized I was in the presence of a man from space – a human being from another world!” The entity identified himself as Orthon. After some warnings about atomic weapons and wars, and a refusal to be photographed, Orthon returned to his ship and sailed away. A controversy of massive proportions had just begun – one which still exists today (check out Greg’s book Wake Up Down There! for the complete, detailed article I have quoted from above). Also, see Greg’s latest book, It Defies Language! for more on his thoughts on the Contactee issue.

One of the more insightful people on the matter of Adamski – and his life and claims – is Colin Bennett, the author of the book, Looking for Orthon. I interviewed Bennett some years ago on the matter of Adamski. Bennett told me: “Adamski was not an educated man, and he used the better-educated Williamson as he used Desmond Leslie. That is, as an extra cerebral lung. As such George Hunt Williamson was the top of Adamski’s multi-media head. As they used to say in those days, the both tripped one another out. The Mojave was certainly rich in ancient Indian legends concerning flying vehicles. This was one of the reasons why George Hunt Williamson and the Baileys accompanied Adamski to the desert.”

Bennett expanded: “It is more than possible that the group wanted to conjure up something like the kind of presence that they thought they had contacted from their automatic writing, and at least Adamski got more than he bargained for. A combination of high intrigue, burgeoning technology combined with the ancient desert and its prehistoric features was not to be trifled with, and a genie came right out of the alchemical bottle. All the best books on occultism contain the warning that the attempted raising of images is not to be taken lightly.”

Orthon

Orthon

There is the following from Bennett, too: “Adamski’s ‘core story’ began to run out of steam very quickly. His followers demanded to know more about Orthon ‘the spaceman,’ and they asked if Adamski had been on yet more journeys in Orthon’s flying saucer. Adamski, the all-American showman, anxious not to disappoint, then turned back to literature, as it were, in order to create new episodes for life. This got him into a terrible wrap-round tangle, and subsequently he pasted-up any and every kind of covered-wagon to try and keep the Orthon story going. This lost him almost all of his latter-day following, and he was finished. But history refused to erase him. The core story was archetypal; it had a kind of irresistible intellectual eroticism about it.”

Bennett also had this to say to me: “George Adamski played a significant part in establishing New Age thinking. It might be well to remember that the entire body of our moral philosophy and spiritual life is formed by visions and inspirations. It does not come from science or technology. Those who thoughtlessly dismiss mystical experience cut themselves off from all art, literature, and no small part of all thought and philosophy.

“As mystics and prophets know, when desert light strikes the retina, anything that can be imagined can happen. The greatest tribute that can be paid to Adamski is that through both foul means and fair, he helped to create one of the very few routes to the unconscious we have.”

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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